Canadian Folk Band Wants Harry Potter DVDs, CDs, Games Destroyed Due To Similar Name

from the oh-come-on dept

With all the attention the Streisand Effect is getting these days, don't be surprised when we see more people trying to use it on purpose to their own advantage. Witness the story sent in by reader Jon R, where a Canadian folk singing group is suing Warner Bros. Studios, demanding that all Harry Potter DVDs, CDs and video games that mentioned "The Weird Sisters" be destroyed. Why? Because the folk group has a name similar, but not the same as "The Weird Sisters." It seems like such a blatant "lawsuit for the sake of publicity" that we won't even bother to name the actual folk group's name. The band isn't suggesting that the Harry Potter stories are riding on its fame (which would be the normal trademark claim), but is saying that because they're such an unknown act, people will think they ripped the name off from Harry Potter: "Consumers will assume that the smaller and less famous Canadian band is trying to take advantage of the Harry Potter fame." Actually, my guess is that they'll think that a lot more for this bogus lawsuit than for having a different, but similar, name. Warner Bros., for its part, notes that the folk group filed a similar suit before, and was told to pay $140,000, which it has not.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Le Blue Dude, Mar 4th, 2008 @ 6:16am

    Wyrd Sisters

    The norns, controllers of fate, and part of mythology are sometimes called the wyrd sisters. Clearly potter and the band drew from the same source. Last I checked, the norns and the Moirae Atropos, Clotho and Lachesis were both combined by pop mythology as the wyrd sisters. (wyrd means fate)

    Clearly the Canadian band is a bunch of jackasses.

     

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  2.  
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    Scott, Mar 4th, 2008 @ 7:02am

    Too Wyrd!

    Perhaps they should also try to sue author Terry Pratchett for his almost 20-year-old book entitled, "Wyrd Sisters."

     

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  3.  
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    Ben Fulton, Mar 4th, 2008 @ 7:02am

    Wyrd Sisters

    One also wonders if Terry Pratchett could sue the band out of existence based on his book of that same name, which probably predates the band!

     

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  4.  
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    Overcast, Mar 4th, 2008 @ 7:05am

    The "Streisand Effect" does not Equal GOOD attention.

    There's no way I'd buy their music just because of this. Lil' whiners.

     

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  5.  
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    Hellsvilla, Mar 4th, 2008 @ 7:07am

    JKR prolly knew this

    JKR prolly knew the band existed (she did do her homework in other similiar matters) and thusly used a slightly different name in the books.

    So even when you do your due diligence, it can come back to haunt you.

     

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  6.  
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    PaulT (profile), Mar 4th, 2008 @ 7:07am

    Yep

    To those guys above who had the same idea as me, quick and dirty wiki research shows that Pratchett should counter-sue

    The band formed in 1991

    The book was published in 1988

     

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  7.  
    icon
    PaulT (profile), Mar 4th, 2008 @ 7:08am

    Re: JKR prolly knew this

    You're kidding, right? "The Weird Sisters" is such an unthinkably unusual name that Rowling couldn't have thought of it independently?

     

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  8.  
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    Chronno S. Trigger, Mar 4th, 2008 @ 7:13am

    Re:

    Far too many people believe (erroneously) the adage "Any publicity is good publicity".

     

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  9.  
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    Scott, Mar 4th, 2008 @ 7:19am

    More like The Scary Sisters!

    Checked out their website.
    From the photo, looks more like The Scary Sisters. Yikes!

     

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  10.  
    identicon
    Martin Edic, Mar 4th, 2008 @ 7:20am

    This suit is nothing more than PR linkbait. I'd like to see Techdirt do some pieces on how people are using IP laws to promote themselves...

     

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  11.  
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    Mat, Mar 4th, 2008 @ 7:27am

    Err... Shakespeare anyone?

    It was Shakespeare who popularised the term 'Weird Sisters' in Macbeth - it's the name for the three witches. And even that wasn't original.

    So please no more comments about Rowling or Pratchett - you're about 500 years too late...

     

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  12.  
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    Hellsvilla, Mar 4th, 2008 @ 7:32am

    Re: Err... Shakespeare anyone?

    No kidding? What part made you believe anyone is not taking this into account?

     

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  13.  
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    Scott, Mar 4th, 2008 @ 7:35am

    Err... Shakespeare anyone?

    We all know it was Shakespeare who originated the "weird sisters" but, it was Pratchett who coined the phrase "The Wyrd Sisters." Since the band is called "The Wyrd Sisters," I think Prachett is a little more relevant than Shakespeare.

     

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  14.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 4th, 2008 @ 7:41am

    Re: Err... Shakespeare anyone?

    More relevant that Shakespeare?!? How dare you sir. Once I get my cod piece back on I shall slap your face with my glove and demand satisfaction. Shakespeare irrelevant... indeed.

     

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  15.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 4th, 2008 @ 7:55am

    Shake, spear, kick in the rear

    Shakespeare wrote better prose accidentally whilst wiping his bottom with a dung rag than all the novels of Pratchett and Rowling combined, sir!

     

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  16.  
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    iPhone, Mar 4th, 2008 @ 8:20am

    suing warner bros

    Guess they're not selling out their shows and very few cd's. Gotta pay the rent somehow

     

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  17.  
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    nipseyrussell, Mar 4th, 2008 @ 8:52am

    how does one write accidently while wiping their bum???
    also - cod piece jokes are always funny!

     

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  18.  
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    Ben Fulton, Mar 4th, 2008 @ 9:04am

    Shakespeare was foolish enough to let his copyright expire. If only he'd sold it to Disney...

     

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  19.  
    identicon
    sigh, Mar 4th, 2008 @ 9:08am

    Re: Shake, spear, kick in the rear

    Good for him. He still wrote about weird sisters, not the Wyrd Sisters.

     

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  20.  
    identicon
    demonr6, Mar 4th, 2008 @ 9:15am

    what's left?

    No really.. when you think of it all of the unique and imaginative names have been long since taken so where do you draw the line? Someone is bound to come up with a name of a band, movie, book etc that has been used up at some point in time so freaking deal with it. If it is something absolutely blatant like you wanting to name your kid themed playground "Disney World" then for crap sake you should be kicked in the nuts and slapped with a lawsuit but what these retards are bringing up a lawsuit for is absurd. Change your name to the Flaming RoachCocks and be unique. Wait, that name was taken already. Nevermind.

     

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  21.  
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    Keith, Mar 4th, 2008 @ 9:16am

    These same fools tried to sue Warner Brothers Entertainment Canada, Warner Brothers Records, Pulp’s Jarvis Cocker and Radiohead’s Phil Selway and Jonny Greenwood over the same issue a few years ago:

    http://www.ateaseweb.com/2005/10/01/canadian-folk-group-sues-jonny-phils-wyrd-sisters/

    No t sure how that all ended, but I know a judge blocked their attempt to keep the movie out of distribution:

    http://www.ateaseweb.com/2005/11/05/judge-dismisses-wyrd-sisters-motion-to-block-hp -film/

     

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  22.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 4th, 2008 @ 10:50am

    wtf! is wrong with people now? The band probaly sucks anyway. Beyotch!

     

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  23.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 4th, 2008 @ 10:52am

    you whore!!! (funny though)

     

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  24.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 4th, 2008 @ 10:54am

    Re: Too Wyrd!

    ok! :)

     

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  25.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 4th, 2008 @ 10:56am

    Re: Re: Too Wyrd!

    dahm it stop that, crap!, again

     

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  26.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 4th, 2008 @ 10:59am

    wtf! is wrong with people now? The band probaly sucks anyway. Beyotch!


    can i sue for no apperant reason too!? :)

     

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  27.  
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    Crockbender, Mar 4th, 2008 @ 4:57pm

    The Wyrd's are weird. I think I shall avoid them, their music, their website, and any further articles about them.

     

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  28.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 4th, 2008 @ 5:09pm

    Re: Err... Shakespeare anyone?

    Weird was spelled Wyrd back then

     

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  29.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 4th, 2008 @ 5:10pm

    Re: Re: Shake, spear, kick in the rear

    He wrote wyrd. Read the orriginal, if you can stand the spelling :-p

     

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  30.  
    identicon
    John Duncan Yoyo, Mar 5th, 2008 @ 12:25am

    Re: Re: JKR prolly knew this

    No Rowling borrowed Wyrd Sisters from Pratchett who may have lifted it from Shakespeare. The Bacon estate should sue.

     

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  31.  
    identicon
    Chrisropher Tatman, Mar 5th, 2008 @ 11:03am

    harry potter bin around since 1990

     

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